Russia Giving Iran ‘Only Defensive Weapons’

US Adds Voice to Concern Against Sale Russia Insists Isn't Happening

Via a statement by its military-technical cooperation agency, Russia once again denied that it intended to supply the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran, a denial it has repeated throughout the week over persistent Israeli concerns and comments from Iranian officials suggesting that the agreement had already been completed.

The United States has now entered into the situation, demanding answers from the Russian government, evidently above and beyond their repeated public denials. State Department spokesman Robert Wood says the US has “repeatedly made clear at senior levels of the Russian government that we would strongly oppose the sale of the S-300.” Other officials reportedly fear that the purely defensive missiles would post some sort of threat to US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Russia’s state arms export agency did in fact confirm that it was supplies some defensive weapons to Iran, including surface-to-air missiles. It does not appear that the S-300 was among them however. The agency said it was “developing military-technical cooperation with Iran in strict compliance with its international commitments stemming from nonproliferation agreements.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.